06-22-2012, 11:58 AM
#1
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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We're a pretty multinational bunch here. Plus, I've been watching a lot of Hell's Kitchen recently. This has me pondering slang from other countries and languages.

So I propose we use this thread to ask our friends from across the pond, down the coast or over the mountains about those little quirks. Smile


English Nook-ites, what's the significance of the use of "muppet" as an insult? Does it imply something further than resembling a silly, fuzzy children's show puppet?

Also, how in the world did "the dog's bollocks" become a positive thing?

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 06-22-2012, 12:04 PM
#2
  • Persius
  • On the learning curve
  • Reading, England
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OK - this could not have made me laugh more (I needed it tonight).

Muppet is particularly (East) London - it means something along the lines of a slightly foolish, ineffective berk. It's an insult, but not that harsh. Think derision and you're there.

The dog's bollocks is (I guess) a derivative of the (older) cat's whiskers; my father might use the latter, but not the former. Again, I have the felling that this is a London thing (originally). It has been in common use for quite a while over here; I remember it from when I was at school, over 25 years ago. Now, mostly people just say "it's the dog's ..".

Any more?

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 06-22-2012, 12:25 PM
#3
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(06-22-2012, 12:04 PM)Persius Wrote: OK - this could not have made me laugh more (I needed it tonight).

Muppet is particularly (East) London - it means something along the lines of a slightly foolish, ineffective berk. It's an insult, but not that harsh. Think derision and you're there.

The dog's bollocks is (I guess) a derivative of the (older) cat's whiskers; my father might use the latter, but not the former. Again, I have the felling that this is a London thing (originally). It has been in common use for quite a while over here; I remember it from when I was at school, over 25 years ago. Now, mostly people just say "it's the dog's ..".

Any more?

I use this word often...

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 06-22-2012, 12:26 PM
#4
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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I'm part of a group on Facebook for wet shaving with a large English contingent. I posted one of my wife's scuttles on there. When one of the guys told me it was the dog's bollocks, I thought for a moment I was going to have to defend her honor.

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 06-22-2012, 12:29 PM
#5
  • Persius
  • On the learning curve
  • Reading, England
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(06-22-2012, 12:26 PM)Songwind Wrote: I'm part of a group on Facebook for wet shaving with a large English contingent. I posted one of my wife's scuttles on there. When one of the guys told me it was the dog's bollocks, I thought for a moment I was going to have to defend her honor.
Appropriate response = thanks, mate.

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 06-22-2012, 12:36 PM
#6
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Great thread, Eric! Thanks for starting this.
Those friends "across the pond" can be so amusing! Biggrin

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 06-22-2012, 12:38 PM
#7
  • Persius
  • On the learning curve
  • Reading, England
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(06-22-2012, 12:36 PM)celestino Wrote: Great thread, Eric! Thanks for starting this.
Those friends "across the pond" can be so amusing! Biggrin
Happy to help!

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 06-22-2012, 01:05 PM
#8
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In grad school in the 80's one of my fellow teaching assistants was a Brit. He told me that his first day of teaching he went to erase some stuff on the board but there was no eraser. So, he turned to the class and asked if someone could run down the hall and get him a "rubber".

Hilarity ensued.

And then of course there's "gobsmacked" which sounds exactly like what it describes.

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 06-22-2012, 01:52 PM
#9
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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"Give us a fag".

fag = cigarette

Along the same lines of "muppet", "You! doughnut".

(06-22-2012, 01:05 PM)oakeshott Wrote: In grad school in the 80's one of my fellow teaching assistants was a Brit. He told me that his first day of teaching he went to erase some stuff on the board but there was no eraser. So, he turned to the class and asked if someone could run down the hall and get him a "rubber".

Hilarity ensued.

To this day the wife giggles like a naughty school girl every time she hears me ask one of our sons for a rubber Confused

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 06-22-2012, 02:08 PM
#10
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Ok, Brits. here's a question for you. In one thread on one of these shaving forums, someone wrote, "This product sucks". Someone else (a Brit I believe), responded that that this was a family forum and such terrible language should not be used (or something to that affect).

Is saying that something sucks really that bad over there or was this gent hyper sensitive? Over here it's inelegant, but certainly not terrible. It's something you don't necessarily want your young kids to say, but I'm not bothered when my teenagers say it.

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 06-22-2012, 02:20 PM
#11
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(06-22-2012, 02:08 PM)5Savages Wrote: Ok, Brits. here's a question for you. In one thread on one of these shaving forums, someone wrote, "This product sucks". Someone else (a Brit I believe), responded that that this was a family forum and such terrible language should not be used (or something to that affect).

Is saying that something sucks really that bad over there or was this gent hyper sensitive? Over here it's inelegant, but certainly not terrible. It's something you don't necessarily want your young kids to say, but I'm not bothered when my teenagers say it.

Saying something sucks over in Blighty isn't that bad, I think we all could come up with much worse... Yes it has a slang quality to it and is sightly derogative, but really isn't that bad.

What I've highlighted above pretty much sums up how the word "sucks" (when it's used to mean something is bad) is seen in the UK (as far as this expat is aware).

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 06-22-2012, 06:12 PM
#12
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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A brief A to Z of Aussie (Australian) slang:

Aussie salute: Brushing away flies with the hand.
Billy: Teapot. Container for boiling water.
Captain Cook: Look (noun) ("let's have a Captain Cook").
Daks: Trousers.
Esky: Large insulated food/drink container for picnics, barbecues etc.
Fair dinkum: True, genuine.
G'Day: Hello!
Harold Holt: To disappear, run away ("he did the Harold Holt").
Icy pole: Iced confectionary.
Jumbuck: Sheep.
Kangaroos loose in the top paddock: Intellectually inadequate ("he's got kangaroos loose in the top paddock").
Larrikin: a bloke (male person) who is always enjoying himself, harmless prankster.
Mallee bull: very fit and strong. ("as strong as a Mallee bull"). The Mallee is very arid beef country in Victoria, South Australia.
Never Never: the Outback, centre of Australia.
Oz: Australia!
Pav: Pavlova - an Australian dessert (meringue base filled with cream and topped with fruits such as strawberries, avos (avocado), banana and passionfruit).
Quid: Of low IQ. ("He's not the full quid"). Further 'quid' is slang for a pound. Australia has since converted to decimal currency.
Roo bar: A stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting roos. (Roo is a kangaroo).
Sandgroper: A person from Western Australia.
Togs: Swim suit.
Ute: Utility vehicle, pickup truck.
Veg out: Relax in front of the TV (like a couch potato).
Walkabout: A journey (traditionally by foot) in the Outback by Aborigines that lasts for an indefinite amount of time.( It's gone Walkabout: it's lost, can't be found).
XXXX: Pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Queensland.
Yakka: Work (noun).
Zack: Sixpence (5 cents) "it isn't worth zack", "he hasn't got zack."

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 06-22-2012, 06:19 PM
#13
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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I think you forgot one Ben.

Bennie- Person who purchases a large amount of badger brushes. "That fella buys more badger brushes than anyone, hes practically a Bennie"

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 06-22-2012, 06:38 PM
#14
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(06-22-2012, 06:12 PM)ben74 Wrote: A brief A to Z of Aussie (Australian) slang:

Pav: Pavlova - an Australian dessert (meringue base filled with cream and topped with fruits such as strawberries, avos (avocado), banana and passionfruit).
Quid: Of low IQ. ("He's not the full quid"). Further 'quid' is slang for a pound. Australia has since converted to decimal currency.

Eyepop What no Pommy? Wink

Give us a squid.

Squid = Quid = £1

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 06-22-2012, 07:14 PM
#15
  • etoyoc
  • Active Member
  • NW Indiana
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(06-22-2012, 02:08 PM)5Savages Wrote: Ok, Brits. here's a question for you. In one thread on one of these shaving forums, someone wrote, "This product sucks". Someone else (a Brit I believe), responded that that this was a family forum and such terrible language should not be used (or something to that affect).

Is saying that something sucks really that bad over there or was this gent hyper sensitive? Over here it's inelegant, but certainly not terrible. It's something you don't necessarily want your young kids to say, but I'm not bothered when my teenagers say it.

Even in the U.S. there are people who have conniptions over that term. My in laws (mother in law in particular) gets very upset about that term. Crotch is also something that can get you kicked out of polite society in parts of the U.S. as well.

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 06-22-2012, 07:35 PM
#16
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Interesting thread!

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 06-22-2012, 07:55 PM
#17
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Oh no, Ben is a Sandgroper.Badger

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 06-22-2012, 08:41 PM
#18
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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Between Steve Irwin and Outback Steakhouse. I knew a decent % of Ben's examples. Cool

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 07-17-2012, 08:16 AM
#19
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Both of the below come via The Guardian...

London 2012: breaking the language barrier

Quote:A quick guide to London English (by an American)



London 2012: an etiquette guide for Olympics visitors

Quote:How do you hire a Boris bike? Why are Brits always saying sorry? Do you look a bit like a terrorist? Find the answers in this guide for foreign visitors

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 07-17-2012, 10:01 AM
#20
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Lol, brilliant thread this. Made me laugh!

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